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Chris Tobin wants The Daily Orange’s fundraising to be more reflective of what donors value. He said he prefers to make people feel like they belong to the DO team rather than getting a bumper sticker that encourages them when they contribute.
Tobin, fundraising manager, joined the DO over the summer, along with business manager Chris Nucerino. Both are part-time roles in the organization.
“I think the type of fundraising that works best is ‘We’re going to win your philanthropy and your vote of confidence based on our ideas,'” Tobin said.
In January, Nucerino started building his own business in financial consulting, but said he had some extra time on his hands and wanted to do something worthwhile. Chris Tobin is running his own Rootstock Consulting business with a friend. But in building a customer base, he said he has the ability to do more.
“I’ve had enough time to feel like I can still contribute to a worthwhile organization,” Tobin said.
The new hires are intended to create a sustainable future for The Daily Orange, said Beth Fritzinger, vice chair of DO’s board of directors. The board concluded that the organization needed more leadership for both fundraising and business management in the roles Tobin and Nucerino currently hold.
Over the last ten years, DO has gradually moved towards fundraising as a form of income. SU Alumna Haley Robertson, who previously served as the newspaper’s editor-in-chief her junior year and fundraising coordinator, said the focus on fundraising at DO has increased over the past few years.
“Before I got involved in fundraising at The Daily Orange, it was just in the administrative responsibilities, and the fundraising campaigns were all tied to specific projects,” Robertson said.
Previously, the roles of Nucerino and Tobin held a single position, general manager. The last person to hold the role was Mike Dolling, who left the organization last summer.
Robertson now works as a development associate with The Ground Truth Project, a role similar to her role as DO’s 2021 fundraising coordinator.
Stephen Dockery, chairman of the board of directors, wrote in an email to DO that he hopes fundraising will become a “proven pillar of our revenue stream” over the next one to two years. Tobin said he’s excited to come to work helping to boost DO fundraising.
“My role is really to help enforce the systems and practices, but also to build some new strategies and a great culture of philanthropy and alumni engagement to help DO flourish and succeed and grow,” Tobin said. “This is my job.”
Both Tobin and Nucerino said their first few weeks with the organization were spent understanding both the systems and the culture.
Tobin said he wants to understand what’s going on “under the hood” at DO in particular, to see what fundraising efforts have been successful in the past and how the newspaper works. He said he wants to help DO’s fundraising efforts get the message right.
Like Tobin, Nucerino wants to explore the business. The first year at DO is all about observing and learning from both the students working in the company and the board of directors. For now, Nucerino wants to act as support.
Nucerino has been working with the local YMCA for almost 30 years. For the past six years, he has served as CEO of the YMCAs of Auburn and Skaneateles. Working at the YMCA, Nucerino said he enjoys working with the typical college age group, in programming and recruiting.
In DO, he considers his job to be one of trust.
“(It’s about) building trust in the community and the students and the school and the board,” Nucerino said.
Dockery wrote that he was “lucky” with Tobin and Nucerino.
They have decades of experience in the field with top-tier organizations in the higher education and nonprofit space, he said.
Published on August 21, 2022 at 10:14 am
Contact Kyle: [email protected] | @Kyle_Chouinard